A trade pact between China and Taiwan, widely seen as the most significant agreement since civil war divided them in 1949, has come into effect.
The Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement (ECFA) cuts tariffs on 539 Taiwanese exports to China and 267 Chinese products entering Taiwan.
The majority of people in Taiwan expect the deal to bring economic benefits.
But opponents fear it will make the island too dependent on China, which still considers it a renegade province.
Read the full story at BBC
TAOYUAN, Taiwan — Taiwan and China held a new round of talks on a contentious trade pact Wednesday as protesters wary of the island’s closer ties with the mainland scuffled with police and rival demonstrators.
A group of about 100 anti-China demonstrators gathered as representatives of the two sides met in a hotel in Taoyuan near the island’s capital, but were kept back by a cordon of uniformed police.
“We should protect Taiwan’s sovereignty and Taiwan’s own future,” said Chang Jaw-liang, one of the protest organisers. “Taiwan should not lean towards China.”
One woman set a Chinese flag ablaze, while scores of protesters holding placards opposing “unification” briefly clashed with pro-China supporters before police separated them.
The two-day Taoyuan meeting is the second round of formal talks on the planned pact and will focus on drawing up a list of industries entitled to preferential tariff treatment as soon as the agreement comes into force.
The pact, known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, has set off a great deal of debate in Taiwan, which has governed itself since 1949.
Read the full story here
The quality of China’s overworked, polluted and artificially fertilised soil needs to be protected or the country could struggle to grow enough crops for the 300 million to 400 million people who will move from the countryside to the city over the next 30 years, a senior government adviser warned today.
Han Jun, an expert on rural policy at the Development Research Centre, said maintaining food security was a major challenge in the process of urbanisation as farmers moved off their fields and into cities, where the consumption of meat, grain and diary products was higher.
In the next three decades, he predicted the share of urban residents in China’s population would rise from 47% to 75%, which would require the clearance of land for residences, roads and other infrastructure.
Noting that China feeds 22% of the world population with only 10% of the planet’s arable land, he said the pressure was growing.
Read the full story at guardian.co.uk
W hen Laos won its bid to host last month’s South-East Asian Games, China offered to help the tiny nation by building a gleaming new venue on the outskirts of the capital Vientiane. The facility included a “natatorium” for swimming and a stadium for soccer. But for the Laotian government, such generosity would not come cheaply.
China’s Suzhou Industrial Park Overseas Investment Co was promised a 50-year lease on 1,600 hectares of land on the outskirts of the capital in return for building the venue. But an exceptional public backlash, fuelled by news that the Chinese intended to bring in 3,000 labourers to do the job, forced the government to cut the size of the concession to 200 hectares and promise to find extra land elsewhere to compensate for the loss.
The episode illustrates both the gravitational pull exerted by China’s economic and strategic might, drawing the nations of continental south-east Asia into a tighter orbit, and the counterveiling tensions that are becoming apparent as a result. Economic and diplomatic imperatives are starting to clash with nationalist fears of becoming – in many cases not for the first time – satellites of Beijing.
Read the full article at Financial Times
At the 3rd World Chinese Forum in Beijing in 2004, Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman of the Thailand’s conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said, “we have always been optimistic about China’s developmental prospect, and in the future, we will stick to the policy of investing China.” More than five years from then, when interviewed by Xinhua at the group’s headquarters here, the chairman reiterated that “those words are still applicable nowadays.”
CHINA’S MARKET MORE POTENTIAL THAN BEFORE
China means something special both for CP Group and for the 71- year-old Chairman. As the very first overseas company that invested in the Chinese mainland after the implementation of its open-up policy in 1978, CP witnessed every steps in China’s development in the past 30 years from 1979 to 2009, and at the same time the company itself grew ever bigger.
Read the full story at People’s Daily Online
The net income per capita of China’s rural residents in the first half of this year increased 8.1 percent year-on-year, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in a statement posted on its Web site Friday.
A report surveying 68,000 rural households in the country’s 31 provinces shows farmers’ net income per capita in the first quarter reached 2,733 yuan ($400.12) per year, according to the NBS.
Farmers’ salary income per capita, which mainly includes a farmer’s earnings from working in a local or urban enterprises, reached 954 yuan per year, up 8.4 percent year-on-year.
Farmers’ cash income from selling agriculture products per capita grew 4.1 percent year-on-year to 1,124 yuan, said the report.
AFA has 2 new interns, this time from Beijing and Hong Kong, China. Liwi Shao, a Statistics major from Hong Kong University, and Fei Jia, a Persian major from Peking University, will work at the secretariat office of AFA for 6 weeks. They will provide support to AFA’s research, documentation, information, and communication work.
Dear members and partners,
You can now download the Chinese version of our brochure. The translation was made by our intern from Beijing, China.
Click here to download: afa-brochure-2009-06-18-with-chinese-translation
Will China be the “growth pole” that will snatch the world from the jaws of depression?
This question has become a favorite topic as the heroic American middle class consumer, weighed down by massive debt, ceases to be the key stimulus for global production.
Although China’s GDP growth rate fell to 6.1% in the first quarter — the lowest in almost a decade — optimists see “shoots of recovery” in a 30% surge in urban fixed-asset investment and a jump in industrial output in March. These indicators are proof, some say, that China’s stimulus program of $586 billion — which, in relation to GDP, is much larger proportionally than the Obama administration’s $787 billion package–is working.
Countryside as Launching Pad for Recovery?
With China’s export-oriented urban coastal areas suffering from the collapse of global demand, many inside and outside China are pinning their hopes for global recovery on the Chinese countryside. A significant portion of Beijing’s stimulus package is destined for infrastructure and social spending in the rural areas. The government is allocating 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) in subsidies to help rural residents buy televisions, refrigerators, and other electrical appliances.
But with export demand down, will this strategy of propping up rural demand work as an engine for the country’s massive industrial machine?
Read the full article at Foreign Policy in Focus
BEIJING — The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, said Sunday that it would beef up support to the agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that had financing difficulties.
A statement on the PBOC website said the monetary policy committee agreed at its first-quarter meeting to endeavor to improve the loans structure and tightly control loans targeted at high energy-consuming, high polluting industries and those with excessive production capacity.
The central bank said it would continue the relatively easy monetary policy to guarantee enough new loans to support domestic economic development.
Read the full article at the China Daily